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3D Reconstructions


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#1 Andrew Field

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 09:39 AM

I've mentioned these before, but we could potentially help produce something really useful and exciting for direct use in classrooms.

The marvellous http://www.timeref.com website provides you with the ability to follow the history of Medieval Britain from the time of Alfred the Great, through the Norman Conquest and up to the start of the Tudor Age. The detailed Timelines contain events for years between 800 and 1499AD. Maps show the locations of castles, abbeys and cathedrals in England, Scotland and Wales.

However what this doesn't mention are the fantastic 3-D reconstructions. I think these are brilliant for use in the classroom. With the 3D plug-in installed, these reconstructions allow you to explore in full 3D, allowing students to appreciate the buildings and scenes in a much more effective way.

With an interactive whiteboard / projector, for example, you can show a Motte and Bailey castle as a full 3D reconstruction, rather than a 2D quick sketch that you might be used to.

See http://www.timeref.com/3dindex.htm

Now two things make this different to existing reconstructions. Firstly the entire site is run by one individual, Mark Needham, in his spare time! Secondly, he has kindly responded to my enquiries and has said he would be more than willing to consider making the tours more teacher & student friendly.

Thus, if we can provide him with suggestions and ideas - specifically ideas how you would make greater use of the reconstructions. I've already said I'd be happy to help develop some worksheets to accompany the reconstructions, but if you have any ideas, please post them here. Mark has joined the forum and I really think this sort of amazing reconstruction, produced for free by an individual rather than a commercial company, is the kind of thing we need to do all we can to encourage.

I particularly like the fact that there are anchor points to discover - such as in the siege engines reconstruction. Here you click to read some information and then can even set the Trebuchet off. It is this sort of interactive discovery which could be put to great use.

So - please post your support and any suggestions you have - what could be done to improve these so they are more useful in the classroom?

Edited to add the new link at Mark's request.

Edited by Andrew Field, 15 June 2005 - 09:53 PM.



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#2 Guest_Nick Dennis_*

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 09:53 AM

I have used the site in class and the effect has been amazing. It is a fantastic resource. However, I found the controls a bit hard to use and the buildings had no collision detectors!

I'll have to give it another try, but the two issues mentioned above are the ones that stand out.

Edited by Nick Dennis, 12 June 2005 - 09:55 AM.


#3 Andrew Field

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 10:01 AM

Thanks for the rapid reply Nick. I think those two issues may be related to the actual 3D software that is used to create these so it might be very difficult to fix. One quick solution I've found is to use the buttons at the bottom - 'go to', 'align' and 'restore'. Clicking on 'go to' allows you to select something you'd like to see, and it seems to deliver you direct to the spot.

I think the fact it is a 3D environment where you have complete control means it is potentially tricky to control - all the options down the left allow you control over everything. Your arrow keys also work! However, if you are on a quick PC it can all become a bit rapid. :)

Still brilliant though!


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#4 Guest_Nick Dennis_*

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 10:38 AM

I think the fact it is a 3D environment where you have complete control means it is potentially tricky to control - all the options down the left allow you control over everything.  Your arrow keys also work!  However, if you are on a quick PC it can all become a bit rapid. :)


I think that is the problem as well as trying to be very clever when using it. :D I wanted to show how cool it was and got a bit lost until I gave up and used the buttons on the left!

Still brilliant though!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I agree!

#5 Dan Lyndon

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 11:10 AM

These are amazing. I can't wait to get using them with my year 7s over the next few weeks, and in conjunction with the trebuchet building competition and the trebuchet flash game mentioned here we're gonna have great fun!
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#6 Andrew Field

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Posted 12 June 2005 - 11:46 AM

Excellent :)

With the creator willing to make changes / improvements though, does anyone have anything to suggest?

What I initially thought was:

1. Adding in many more anchor points - so, for example, the Motte and Bailey reconstruction becomes a discovery challenge.
2. Some worksheets to accompany the tours - these could then set the challenge to answer questions related to the anchor points and observationl questions such as "why was the height of the Motte so significant?".


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#7 Mark Needham

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Posted 14 June 2005 - 06:46 PM

Hello, I'm the author of TimeRef and the 3D reconstructions. It's great to see that the 3D castles are being put to good use.

I'm currently working on a 3D model of the inside of a keep. Hopefully you will be able to go up and down the spiral staircases and visit each floor.

Other models I want to do are Viking ships, Warwick Castle - showing the progression of the castle from motte and bailey to present, and a model showing how castles were undermined.

A model for all of the main castles in Britain is the eventual aim, but that's a long way off...

I will be glad to take any suggestions for future models.

I understand that the VRML interface can be difficult to use. One option is to add flying-tours that automatically move the camera around the model. I'll have a look at putting these in. :)

#8 Mark Needham

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 09:33 PM

:curse: Easyspace have failed me again...

Please note that www.timeref.org is not working and to access the 3D reconstructions please use: -

http://www.timeref.com

The .com version will be become the main site while the .org version may be dropped over time.

Thanks

#9 Andrew Field

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Posted 15 June 2005 - 09:52 PM

The proposals sound marvellous. Being able to look around the inside will be really impressive.

The new link is much better too because you have the links in the same domain, rather than redirecting to a BTInternet address. This makes it all more search-engine friendly and clearer for people to link to.

If you could add flying-tours to automatically move around that might make them more immediately accessible, as long as we could still move around them slowly as well. What might work really well, together with a worksheet, would be a series of anchor points so the students can literally go on a tour of the castle.

Perhaps it could fly the students around first, showing the sights. Then it could focus in on one part that is linked to a question. Then it could move onto the next question. Alternatively we could provide students with an overhead map and they have to work their way around to find the anchor points.

With slightly more interaction / information points spread around these become a fabulous teaching resource.

Do keep us updated about the developments - I am sure everyone here will make use of them.


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#10 Mark Needham

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 10:24 PM

TimeRef.com has a new 3D castle.

I've added a virtual Raglan Castle to my site. There is a link from the home page: -

http://www.timeref.com

It's the biggest model so far and may give some machines a problem. It would be useful if someone can give me some feedback as to the speed when you move around the model.

Thanks
Mark Needham

#11 Andrew Field

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Posted 02 September 2005 - 10:50 PM

It looks fantastic - but does rather speed up when I try to walk / fly around. I am on a 3.4 ghz machine with lots of memory though. The controls are very sensitive and I do seem to dart around too rapidly.

Is is possible to add a 'tour' option, where you are automatically lead around the castle, perhaps stopping at points of interest?


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#12 JohnDClare

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Posted 03 September 2005 - 07:30 AM

Fantastic.
My main problem was that I kept ending up in the moat and couldn't get out. And when I tried to 'fly' out I ended up lost in a nightmarish world of grey walls, black earth and dark blue sky; lost and unable to get back - scarey!

#13 Mark Needham

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 10:13 PM

Finally worked out how to do an automated tour in VRML...

The Raglan Castle model has a tour - just click on the tour sign. It goes a bit odd at the end but it's not too bad.

I'll add tours to the other models once the method is perfected.

Let me know what you think.

Thanks
Mark

#14 Andrew Field

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 10:18 PM

This is brilliant - thank you so much for making these available. The automated tour is a great addition. Just putting the tour on would be a really effective way of showing the students 'around' the castle.

If possible could the tour just go back to the start again, perhaps pause briefly, and then automatically continue? I just think for things like display evenings, showing a rolling tour of a famous castle would be a brilliant thing to show.

This is a marvellous resource. Thank you!


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#15 Mark Needham

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 07:37 PM

As requested, the animation loops around and I've fixed the problem with the end of the sequence. To get out of the animation click the tour buttons at the bottom of the screen. They appear to toggle between a walking view and the animation view which keeps going in the background.

Mark




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